Thailand targets 3.5 trillion baht in tourism revenue by 2025

Picture courtesy of Ruben Sukatendel, Unsplash

The Tourism and Sports Ministry is contemplating increasing the tourism revenue target for 2025, suggesting that the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) should aim higher than the 3.5 trillion baht goal set for this year.

At the TAT Action Plan 2025 meeting held yesterday, July 9, the agency announced a target of 3.4 trillion baht (US$ 93 billion) for next year. This figure is based on an expected growth of 7.5% from the 3 trillion baht (US$ 82 billion) goal for 2024, which is the agency’s primary and most likely scenario.

Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin later expressed his desire to achieve 3.5 trillion baht (US$ 96 billion) in tourism revenue this year, said Tourism and Sports Minister Sermsak Pongpanit.

“The target next year should be higher than this year. If the TAT has any concerns about the budget, it should ask for government support to reach that goal.”

Sermsak emphasised that the government aims to increase the target to encourage all sectors to put in more effort. He plans to discuss the matter with TAT Governor Thapanee Kiatphaibool within the next few days as the agency finalises its 2025 action plan this week. The 2025 strategic plan is set to be announced next week.

Thapanee mentioned that the 7.5% growth target is contingent on this year’s performance, with exact figures expected by the end of December.

Tourism revenue

Initially, TAT proposed a budget of around 12 billion baht (US$330 million) for fiscal 2025. However, this was halved to 6.23 billion baht (US$171 million) during the first reading of the budget bill in the House of Representatives last month.

The agency received allocations of 6.6 billion baht (US$181 million) and 6.43 billion baht (US$177 million) during fiscal 2019 and 2020, respectively, before the global spread of Covid-19 in early 2020. During the pandemic years (2021 to 2023), TAT’s budget was cut to 4.85 billion baht (US$133 million), 2.87 billion baht (US$79 million), and 3.25 billion baht (US$89 million), respectively.

The ongoing TAT Action Plan 2025 meeting, which concludes tomorrow, has brought together directors from 45 domestic and 29 overseas TAT offices to discuss marketing strategies for next year.

Pattanapong Pongthongcharoen, director of the Seoul office, stated that the agency aims to attract 2 million Korean tourists next year, up from the anticipated 1.94 million for 2024, which surpasses the numbers in 2019.

Despite a significant decline in the number of Thais travelling to South Korea, he noted that the sentiment of Korean tourists visiting Thailand remains positive, said Pattanapong.

“Korean tourists still see Thailand as a friendly destination and are eager to learn about the local culture, especially Thai food.”

Many tourists are influenced by South Korean personalities who visit Chiang Mai, while several K-pop artists, including (G)I-dle and Seventeen, chose to film their music videos in Thailand.

Thailand and South Korea have been actively co-promoting tourism between 2023 and 2024. Efforts include attracting Korean visitors to Thailand’s Songkran festival and encouraging more Thais to participate in South Korea’s Boryeong Mud Festival and Jangheung Water Festival.

In the first half of this year, Thailand welcomed 934,983 Korean tourists, reaching halfway to the 1.88 million base-case scenario for this year.

To boost travel during July and August, which is the summer season for this market, the agency plans to attract charter flights to potential destinations like Phuket. Unlike Vietnam, which has an extensive network to many cities, including Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, Phuket currently lacks direct routes, reported Bangkok Post.

Potential targets include tourists aged 20 to 40, who make up approximately 40% of outbound tourists from South Korea.

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Bright Choomanee

With a degree in English from Srinakharinwirot University, Bright specializes in writing engaging content. Her interests vary greatly, including lifestyle, travel, and news. She enjoys watching series with her orange cat, Garfield, in her free time.

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